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Toxic Work Cultures Create Dis-ease!

The Leader Drives the Culture!

Toxic work cultures create dis-ease! “Energy is the currency of the universe. When you “pay” attention to something, you buy the experience”
Emily Maroutian

Organisational Culture is defined as a culture that consists of the values and behaviours that workers share and demonstrate. 

In other words, if a culture is positive that energy will be reflected in the workers. Conversely, if the culture is poor then that energy will be reflected throughout the organisation.

For instance, the leader of the organisation is likened to be a conductor of an orchestra. The conductor directs the orchestra (the team) to stay aligned, in harmony, and in time. They keep it all together!

Mary’s Story!

Recently I worked with a client called Mary.  For many years she worked in the Corporate World! She shared with me all the positive feedback she had received whilst in her role. Mary knew that she had achieved huge milestones in her career. Receiving outstanding performance reviews. Also, she was a perfectionist!

Despite all these positives she was lacking in confidence. Feeling that she did not deserve the accolades. Experiencing feelings of self-doubt not only as a female leader but as a mother and wife also. As a result of her high expectations, she was unable to acknowledge how well she was doing. 

In conclusion, her negative state took over her mindset and sabotaged her life. She was exhausted trying to keep up!

As we unpacked her feelings and beliefs, she started to gain a bit of clarity. The more we peeled back the layers the more she began to realise what had happened whilst in her role. Finally, she permitted herself to acknowledge what “her gut” had been telling her. It now made sense to her. For a while, she felt she was “going crazy”.

Despite being given strong feedback and great performance reviews. Mary felt she was just being paid lip service. No promotions or financial rewards or incentives were offered. After that, she realised she was the “token” female and could feel deep down that her work and her opinions were not valued. Mary had been working in a “toxic work cultures create dis-ease” without being aware.

Compound Effect!

As a result, functioning at this level for some time, not only caused her to be exhausted. Besides her self-esteem was destroyed. Her self-confidence eroded and her sense of purpose was lost. Mary’s health was impacted! She suffered constant headaches and lost 10kgs in weight!

According to research into Corporate Australia:-
– 1/3 of Corporate Australia is feeling stressed, anxious and depressed
– 30% of these people are suffering from some kind of mental illness
– Of those, 36% were suffering from depression, 33% from anxiety, and 31% from stress.
– Depression is now the primary mental health disorder
– 58% of females who met the clinical criteria for anxiety or depression were not aware that they had a problem
– 73% of males who met the clinical criteria for anxiety or depression were not aware that they had a problem

Stress and Dis-ease!

Toxic cultures create dis-ease in many ways. At times it may be evident, or it may be “hidden”. The subliminal messages can cause people to over-react, thus placing more pressure on themselves to perform better.

Research acknowledges that working in difficult environments is stressful. Placing the body under constant stress increases the impact on the body. 

When the body is stressed, muscles tense up. This is an automatic reaction of the body to protect against injury and pain. When the body suffers chronic stress, these tense muscles can cause headaches, stiff neck, and shoulders.

As the body tenses up, it shows up as headaches and stiff muscles. However inside the body chemicals and hormones are being released that can cause imbalances within the cells of the body, creating inflammation and dis-eases to internal organs. 

A chronic stress state left unmanaged can lead to chronic dis-ease.

How to Improve!

So some simple steps to improve your stress and work culture:-
– Have open and honest conversations with your team and leader. Gain the courage to suggest and make changes.
– Listen to your own body and make sure you are taking time to address any symptoms you may be experiencing such as headaches and fatigue
– Make time to hang out with friends, have fun and a laugh. Dont take life too seriously

Would love to hear your thoughts?